Sir Bobby Charlton dead: Manchester United and England World Cup hero dies aged 86 after dementia battle | The Sun

ENGLAND'S 1966 World Cup winning hero Sir Bobby Charlton has tragically died aged 86.

The former Man Utd legend passed away after a battle with dementia just a week after celebrating his birthday.

His heartbroken family confirmed today that the Sir Bobby "passed away peacefully" during the early hours of Saturday morning, surrounded by his loved ones.

A statement from the family read: "It is with great sadness that we share the news that Sir Bobby passed peacefully in the early hours of Saturday morning.

"He was surrounded by his family. His family would like to pass on their thanks to everyone who has contributed to his care and for the many people who have loved and supported him.

"We would request that the family’s privacy be respected at this time.”

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Manchester United also paid their respects to the legend and said the club is in mourning following the news.

They said: "Sir Bobby was a hero to millions, not just in Manchester, or the United Kingdom, but wherever football is played around the world."

His brother Jack, who died aged 85 in July 2020, had also suffered with the disease in his later life.

And brother Gordon died in January aged 79 after a battle with cancer and dementia.

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Sir Bobby is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time.

He played in the Three Lions' World Cup triumph in 1966 and went on to win Ballon d'Or later that year.

He also scored 249 goals in 758 games for Manchester United – helping them to their first ever European Cup win in 1968.

Despite playing as a midfielder, Sir Bobby netted a further 49 times in 106 games for England.

He spent almost all of his playing career at Man Utd and was renowned for his passes and long-range shots.

Sir Bobby survived the Munich Air Disaster in 1958 that killed eight of his teammates.

His wife Lady Norma revealed the star's battle with dementia in November 2020 in a bid to "help others".

The sad news furthered calls to investigate the link between football and dementia more vigorously.

Nobby Stiles, Martin Peters, Jack Charlton and Ray Wilson have all died since 2018 after living with dementia.

Sir Bobby was born on October 11, 1937, in mining village of Ashington, Northumberland.

He joined Utd when he was 15 and made his league debut against Charlton where he scored twice despite a sprained ankle.

The star's manager Matt Busby said of Sir Bobby: “There has never been a more popular footballer.

"He was as near perfection as man and player as it is possible to be."

In his personal life, Sir Bobby famously fell out with brother Jack, who also helped steer England to World Cup glory.

Jack accused his brother of not visiting their mother Cissie before her death in 1996.

Sir Bobby then revealed his wife Norma had been locked in a rift with Cissie and the footballer had taken his spouse's side.

In 2007, he spoke of their tumultuous relationship after claiming Jack said some 'absolutely disgraceful' comments about his wife.

Bobby told the Guardian: "[Jack] came out in the newspapers saying things about my wife that were absolutely disgraceful. Nonsense.

"Ask anybody that ever met my wife: 'hoity-toity' is not a word they'd use.

"My brother made a big mistake. I don't understand why he did it. He couldn't possibly have known her and said what he said. I was astonished."


Manchester United are in mourning following the passing of Sir Bobby Charlton, one of the greatest and most beloved players in the history of our club.

Sir Bobby was a hero to millions, not just in Manchester, or the United Kingdom, but wherever football is played around the world.

He was admired as much for his sportsmanship and integrity as he was for his outstanding qualities as a footballer; Sir Bobby will always be remembered as a giant of the game.

A graduate of our youth Academy, Sir Bobby played 758 games and scored 249 goals during 17 years as a Manchester United player, winning the European Cup, three league titles and the FA Cup. For England, he won 106 caps and scored 49 goals for England, and won the 1966 World Cup.

Following his retirement, he went on to serve the club with distinction as a director for 39 years.

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His unparalleled record of achievement, character and service will be forever etched in the history of Manchester United and English football; and his legacy will live on through the life-changing work of the Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation.

The club’s heartfelt sympathies are with his wife Lady Norma, his daughters and grandchildren, and all who loved him.

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